The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Belles suffer 119-84 loss to Calvin

Dan Tapetillo | Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Saint Mary’s swimming team lost its first meet coming off winter training, but coach Greg Petcoff is still smiling. Despite the 119-84 loss to Calvin College Saturday, Petcoff is encouraged by the individual performances given during the team’s week-long winter training in Islamorada, Fla. Eight swimmers were able to swim personal best times including “performer of the meet” senior Katy Lebiedz. Lebiedz took second place in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2 minutes, 37.13 seconds. “It was just a fantastic swim, the last time that she swam this fast was two years ago when she broke the school record,” Petcoff said. “She is a swimmer who is exploding with confidence right now.”Sophomore Kelly Nelis stood out, as well, with a second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle with a personal best time of 2:03.5. Nelis also took first in 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:33.94. Other highlights include senior Maureen Palchak’s 56.65 first-place finish in the 100-yard freestyle, senior Megan Ramsey’s second place time of 2:17.3 in the 200-yard butterfly, and returning swimmer Sarah Nowak’s second place finish in the 200-yard IM. This is Nowak’s first collegiate race as she and Katie Dingeman return from studying abroad this past fall. The strenuous workouts and subsequent stand-out performances, however, also resulted in another factor affecting the team’s meet against Calvin: fatigue. The team swam double workouts everyday, and Petcoff said exhaustion could have figured into Saturday’s loss.The Belles now stand at 0-3 in the MIAA rankings, and they recently suffered another blow – the loss of one of their top swimmers, freshman Caitlin Fitzpatrick, who broke four school records earlier this season. “She [Fitzpatrick] is taking a leave of absence from college,” Petcoff said. “When things like this happen, there are always people stepping up, but she will not be replaced.” Saint Mary’s will now focus upon their next opponents Kalamazoo and Olivet this Friday.